Country Idealist Profiles

Australian Capital Territory – Non-profit legislation

Posted in ACT (Australia) - Third Sector by diego1084 on August 14, 2008

Relevant Non-profit legislation:

Charitable Collections Act 2003

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Associations Incorporation Act 1991

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Australian Capital Territory – NGO’s and funraising

Posted in ACT (Australia) - Third Sector by diego1084 on August 14, 2008

Fundraising activities such as bingo, raffl es and door knock appeals are regulated by state and territory authorities. Each state has its own laws for these activities.

The relevant authorities are the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission and the Department of Urban Service.

The relevant legislation is the Lotteries Act 1964 and whilst the definition of ‘lottery’ is broad, fundraising activities regulated by the Commission are primarily raffles, housie (bingo), trade promotion lotteries and to a lesser degree, calcuttas.

Generally, a permit is required to conduct the abovementioned activities. There may be exceptions where the organisation is non-profit and the prize value is less than $500 or where a club/association wishes to conduct a lottery among members only and there is no external advertising. A copy of information/conditions in relation to the respective activities is available on our website.

In respect of housie applications, the Commission may also need to consider provisions under the Code of Practice Regulations which is also available on the website.

In the ACT all types of collections made for charitable purposes are regulated by the Charitable Collections Act 2003. Collections include money or goods donated or sold. They include personal door to door and public place collections, collection bins, collections by telephone, written appeals, internet and other forms of electronic communication.

Unless exempt, collecting for charity requires a licence. A licence application form can be viewed and downloaded from our website.

Your planned collection activity might already be covered by an existing licence. You should check with relevant charitable organisations as to whether such a licence exists or with the Department of Urban Services.

There are several grounds on which your planned collecting activity may be exempt from requiring a collecting licence.

Two key criteria which will exempt you from requiring a licence are:

1 If you will raise less than $15,000 in a calendar year, and

2 If you are collecting for an overseas agency accredited with AusAid.

Australian Capital Territory – Third sector

The organizations of the third sector are called NGO’s (Non Government Organizations): is a service based non-profit organisation whose members are persons not employed by a government often engaged in humanitarian and development work. There are approximately 3000 NGO’s in the ACT.

The most important categories of organisations are community and welfare service, health, religious, education, environment and animal welfare, sporting and recreation, arts and cultural. And the main areas of focus are health, social services/welfare, education, arts and culture.

The third sector plays an important role in ACT, providing opportunities for participation and social inclusion. Members of the community are often actively involved in NGOs, either as volunteers, paid employees, donors, or as members. The majority of giving came from volunteer contributions, donations and pro bono work. Contributions from individuals can account for up to 90% of annual donations. Furthermore, the health and community services sector makes up approximately 8.7 per cent of the workforce.

Australian Capital Territory – Volunteers Rights & Responsabilities

As a volunteer you have the right:

– to work in a healthy and safe environment (refer various Occupational Health and Safety Act[s]);

– to be interviewed and engaged in accordance with equal opportunity and anti- discrimination legislation;

– to be adequately covered by insurance;

– to be given accurate and truthful information about the organisation for which you are working;

– to be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses;

– to be given a copy of the organisations volunteer policy and any other policy that affects your work;

– not to fill a position previously held by a paid worker;

– not to do the work of paid staff during industrial disputes;

– to have a job description and agreed working hours;

– to have access to a grievance procedure;

– to be provided with orientation to the organisation;

– to have your confidential and personal information dealt with in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1988; and

– to be provided with sufficient training to do your job.

Volunteers have a right to be provided with:

– A copy of the Aims and Objectives of the agency.

– Information on policies and procedures of the agency.

– Orientation, training and education.

– Recognition as a co-worker and team member.

– A suitable assignment.

– A duty statement and job description.

– Information about communication lines within the agency.

– Adequate counselling and grievance procedures.

– Proper insurance cover.

– Appropriate occupational health and safety protection.

– Out-of-pocket cost reimbursement.

– Appropriate work area and equipment.

– Support, supervision, feedback and review.

– Opportunities for personal development

– Access to relevant decision making processes within the agency.

– Appropriate forms of recognition for work done and contribution made.

Volunteers have a responsibility to:

– Make an informed decision to work as a volunteer with an agency.

– Undertake work orientation and training as required.

– Work within the duty statement on tasks suitable to their skills and experience.

– Behave in an ethical manner.

– Keep agency and client matters confidential.

– Be committed to the agency’s aims and objectives.

– Inform the agency when unable to undertake or complete a task.

– Use appropriate information channels within an agency when needing information, support, back-up, supervision or review.

– Be aware of the limits of their role within the agency.

– Be aware of their duty of care.

– Be aware of occupational health and safety policies and practices.

– Act as a member of the team.

– Be aware of protocol when representing the agency.

– Commit to achieving results and making an effective contribution to the work of the agency.

Australian Capital Territory – Volunteerism

The ACT and Queensland had the highest proportion of volunteers in 2006, with 38% of their population volunteering (ABS 2006). In the ACT the average volunteer contribution was 52 hours per year in 2006 or about 4 hours a week. The activities most frequently reported by volunteers were fundraising, preparing and serving food and training.

Unlike paid staff, volunteers are not covered by awards or work-place agreements. Volunteers however do have rights, some which are enshrined in legislation and some which could be considered the moral obligations of an organisation involving volunteers.

Participation in voluntary work by part of state

Australia – Types of Non-Profit Organisations

In Australia there are three main types of structures used by those who wish to establish a non-profit organisation:

Unincorporated association
Incorporated association
Company limited by guarante